All tagged Flop Musicals

Remembering Seesaw

A musical that was plagued with troubles during its gestation, that seemed to solve most of them before officially opening on Broadway, only to fold after approximately five months, was the 1973 Seesaw. Adapted from the William Gibson play Two for the Seesaw, with a book by Michael Bennett and a score by Dorothy Fields and Cy Coleman, Seesaw originally had a book by Michael Stewart, direction by Edwin Sherin, and was to star Lainie Kazan. As the musical’s hit song exclaims, however, “It’s Not Where You Start, It’s Where You Finish” and the show would arrive on Broadway with a very different cast of characters involved.

Remembering Minnie’s Boys

Some musicals you just know are going to bomb from the moment they are announced. It’s just clear that it is half-baked idea that is going to struggle. Something just doesn’t feel right about it. Then there are the shows that sound like such a good idea that you cannot help but invest your hopes in them. The premise appears sound and the possibilities of what a musical can do to augment the story and character development is promising. It’s only after our hearts are broken that we begrudgingly accept the show flopped. Minnie’s Boys was one of these heartbreakers.

Remembering Big

Movies have long been the inspiration for Broadway musicals. It is easy to say that this is a recent trend, but that simply is not so. Just as there have been many musicals that have taken their inspiration from plays, books, and historical events, there have been musicals that draw from cinema (from the 50’s on, anyway). In the 1990s, the trend toward adapting films for the musical stage seemed to gain even more traction, and by the turn of the century, everywhere you looked on Broadway you could find movies reimagined for the stage.

Remembering Grind

An eagerly anticipated musical of the 1984-1985 Broadway season was Grind, set to be Harold Prince’s big project of the time, but ultimately part of a sequence of lulls in what was an otherwise prolific career of genius and artistry. Grind was an edgy musical that depicted the harsh divide between races in burlesque theatre of Chicago in the 1930s. With a book by Fay Kanin, and a score by Larry Grossman (music) and Ellen Fitzhugh (lyrics), Grind was an ambitious piece of musical theatre that had a hard time settling into what it wanted to be. Sometimes, it played like a broad comedy, sometimes it felt as though it was aiming for serious drama, and the show-within-a-show moments often left audiences feeling like they were watching a musical revue, even when those numbers were making commentary about what was happening onstage. Still, there was something special about Grind sometimes did work, and much of that came from just how daring it set out to be.